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Animated Films Become Bridge To Child With Autism

Through characters in "Aladdin, " "The Lion King" and "The Jungle Book," Owen could express himself and his feelings. (lifeanimated.net)
Through characters in "Aladdin, " "The Lion King" and "The Jungle Book," Owen could express himself and his feelings. (lifeanimated.net)

[Note: This show is from a previous interview that aired on May 27, 2014.]

When acclaimed journalist Ron Suskind’s son Owen was just shy of three years old, he suddenly stopped communicating with his family. Owen would sleep and cry a lot and his vocabulary dwindled to the single word “juice.”

Eventually Owen was diagnosed with autism.

Ron and his family tried all sorts of ways of reaching Owen but it was the Disney films that Owen loved that would prove to be the bridge.

Doctors have yet to discover the origin of this disorder, but a recent Harvard study suggests that exposure to high levels of air pollution could be associated with autism.

Suskind writes about the journey the entire family took in his new book “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism.”

In May we interviewed Suskind and his son Owen, today we revisit that conversation.

Guests

    • Ron Suskind, journalist and author of “Life, Animated.” He tweets @RonSuskind.
    • Walt Suskind, son of Ron and Cornelia Suskind, and older brother of Owen.

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